Can I Drink Ensure While Pregnant? (Is It Really Safe?)

Can I Drink Ensure While Pregnant

Oh, the joys of pregnancy! Growing a new life is beautiful – but it’s also a lot of work. Many pregnant women experience rapid and profound changes during those 40-odd weeks of pregnancy, from mood swings to weight gain and everything in between.

Some women experience nausea, or morning sickness, during the first trimester. While others have intense cravings or turn to low-protein foods during the mood swings of pregnancy in the second trimester. Some moms may experience weight loss due to inadequate diet or regular vomiting during this stage, while others may gain weight too quickly from unhealthy snacking.

A proper nutrition is vital for a healthy pregnancy, but it may not be easy to achieve some days. That’s why it’s great to know that there are safe snacking or meal replacement options out there for expecting mothers.

Ensure drinks are a popular choice because they offer a much-needed nutritional boost that is safe for pregnant and lactating women. If you’re looking to a nutrition shake to fill gaps in your nutritional needs during pregnancy, consider drinking Ensure.

Drinking Ensure can be a great option to help pregnant women stay healthy while offering essential vitamins and additional nutrients that are vital for a healthy pregnancy, but should not be the only approach to meeting nutritional needs during pregnancy: prenatal vitamins and balanced meals are vital, too.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice or consultation.

Proper Nutrition During Pregnancy

According to the National Institute of Health, most women need around 2000 calories per day to maintain a healthy diet1. However, during pregnancy those nutritional guidelines call for an additional 200-300 calories during the first trimester, and another 200-300 on top of that during the second and third trimesters (for an additional 400-600 per day in the last trimester).

While that might sound easy to do, some pregnant women may lose weight or struggle to maintain a optimal nutrition due to cravings or a poor appetite from morning sickness.

Can Ensure Help With Morning Sickness

Additional Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

Eating habits should change when a woman is pregnant including: cutting out alcohol, reducing caffeine and increased nutritional intake for specific vitamins and minerals2.

Some of the key vitamins a pregnant woman needs include:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin A
  • Folic acid
  • Calcium
  • Omega fatty acids

The developing baby needs these vitamins and minerals to be healthy and strong – and mom needs them because her body is depleting her stores to send them to the growing baby!

Yes, most women will take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, but did you know that the body absorbs more vitamins and minerals when nutrients are taken with food3?

This is why most doctors recommend that expecting mothers take their daily prenatal vitamins just after a meal. What’s even better is consuming these essential vitamins through meals or via a nutritional supplement drink.

PRO TIP: Check out my article with easy-to-prepare healthy snacks that you can pack in your hospital bag. They will keep you energized before and after giving birth, and provide all necessary nutrients.

Is It Safe To Drink Nutritional Shakes While Pregnant?

Some nutrition shakes or protein shakes are safe to drink during pregnancy. However, it is very important that you look at the ingredients and discuss with your doctor if you have any questions about hte safety of a product.

Not all prepared drink beverages are the same, some have a high calorie content while not providing enough nutrients for a pregnant woman, still, others are protein shakes which may have high levels of caffeine in them.

One nutritional beverage that is safe for pregnant women and has even undergone FDA research to attest to it’s complete and balanced nutrition are ensure shakes. Ensure drinks are safe to drink during pregnancy.

Is It Safe To Drink Nutritional Shakes During Pregnancy

What Is Ensure & What Nutrients It Has?

There are several types of prepared Ensure drinks, all of which can be used as a source of nutrition, an occasional meal replacement, or a means of additional calories.

Their products feature science-based nutrition and are appropriate for anyone looking for nutritional drinks or meal replacement options, including, but not limited to a pregnancy diet4.

Regular Ensure

  • 240 calories
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of fiber
  • 27 vitamins and minerals

During the first trimester, just drinking one regular Ensure in addition to a regular diet would meet the recommended additional 200 calories a day.

Not only does it offer calories, but offers many of the same vitamins found in a quality prenatal vitamin, too, all while being gentle on the stomach if you’re facing morning sickness.

High Protein Shakes

For active expecting mothers, especially, it is important to get plenty of protein. If, prior to pregnancy, you had a daily protein shake, consider swapping it for an high-protein Ensure shake, instead.

1. High Protein Ensure Drink

  • 225 Calories
  • 12 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of fat

2. Ensure Max Protein

  • 350 Calories
  • 20 grams of protein
  • 11 grams of fat

3. Ensure Plus

  • 350 Calories
  • 13 gram of protein

Ensure Powder Drinks

Ensure drinkers could also consider the nutritional powders, which they can mix themselves at home. It’s important to follow the instructions of how much Ensure powder to add with water, to get the adequate amount of nutrients and not too many calories or fat in a single serving.

The benefit here is that it lasts longer and is easier to take when traveling.

Ensure Drinks Safe For Pregnant Women

Nutrients In Ensure Drinks

The Ensure brand slogan is “Complete, balanced nutrition”, their targeted nutrition products offer plenty of vitamins and minerals essential for a pregnant woman’s regular diet, including:

  • Vitamin A, Vitaimin C and Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Vitamins B6 and B12
  • Iron (essential for a pregnant woman to produce additional blood for the developing baby)
  • Folic Acid (helps to prevent certain birth defects)
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc (helps support the immune system)
  • Selenium
  • Calcium (for bone development)

Is It Safe To Drink Ensure While Pregnant?

Yes, it is safe to drink ensure during pregnancy. Ensure drinks offer protein, vitamins and many of the necessary nutrients expecting moms need.

Consuming Ensure is safe during pregnancy, however it should be used to fill occasional nutritional gaps, not be a replace regular meals.

Pregnant women still need to consume enough calories in a day to maintain a healthy weight and gain weight for baby’s growth. The recommended daily intake of calories for a pregnant woman is around 2200 – 2400 per day, depending on which trimester she is in.

How Many Ensures Can I Drink A Day While Pregnant?

If you’re planing to drink ensure during pregnancy, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about drinking Ensure regularly, especially if you plan to drink it daily.

While most pregnant women can drink Ensure as part of a healthy pregnancy diet, the amount of fat or sugars might be a problem; especially those who are at risk for gestational diabetes or who may have gained weight faster than their doctor has recommended, for example.

Is It Safe To Drink Ensure During Pregnancy

Benefits Of Drinking Ensure During Pregnancy

For women hoping to drink ensure while pregnant, know that these nutritional drinks offer plenty of vitamins and minerals which are essential during pregnancy.

While they may not have all the levels of quality prenatal vitamins, they are consumed in a way that is easier for your body to absorb, especially:

Zinc (for immune system support), Vitamin D and Calcium, and Vitamin C and Iron (which are best taken together for optimal absorption).

Can Ensure Help With Morning Sickness?

Drinking ensure can help with morning sickness, or the common nauseous feeling many expecting women experience on an empty stomach.

Drinking ensure can help combat this while providing some healthy vitamins and minerals, too. Some expecting moms drink it as soon as they wake up in the morning to prevent that terrible feeling from an empty stomach.

While drinking Ensure shouldn’t be a regular meal replacement (expecting moms should eat balanced meals) but it can be a supplement if you’re struggling to eat enough, or work as a morning-sickness hack.

Does Drinking Ensure While Pregnant Have Any Disadvantages?

  • Fiber

Remember that while Ensure drinks offer complete nutrition that does not mean they have all elemets of a healthy diet. Fiber, for example is absent from most of the drinks, or found in a very low amount in Ensure Max Protein. Humans need fiber – and during pregnancy women should increase their fiber intake, so make sure you’re reaching for high-fiber snacks if you plan to drink ensure during pregnancy.

  • Sugar

Some of the ensure products are high in sugar, or use artificial sweeteners. For expecting mothers concerned about gestational diabetes, talk with your doctor before drinking Ensure, remember – safety first!

  • Fat Content

Some amounts of fat are healthy, and are necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. However, every pregnancy is different and some moms need to gain weight slowly over the course of their pregnancy, so they should be careful about the fat content of their regular diet.

  • Allergens

Ensure drinks contain 500 mg of lactose (which is less than a glass of milk). They may be appropriate for individuals with a lactose intolerance because the amount is so low, however if you do have issues with dairy, please do your research.

They also contain soy and are not a good choice for individuals with soy allergies.

  • Plant-based protein drinks

Regular Ensure products contain dairy milk. But they have recently released a line of plant-based protein drinks, using fava beans at the main source of protein. If you are vegan, make sure you check the label and choose the plant-based Ensure products.

Can I Drink Nutritional Shakes While Pregnant

Things To Keep In Mind Before You Start Drinking Ensure During Pregnancy

Remember that while it isafe to drink Ensure during pregnancy, there is a difference between enjoying the occasional nutritional shake and using it as your main source of nutrition during pregnancy.

In most cases, expecting women should take prenatal vitamins and eat a balanced diet throughout their pregnancy.

Pay attention to the sugar and fat content of these drinks and remember, while they may offer protein, they are not a source of fiber.

Can I Drink Ensure While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can drink Ensure while breastfeeding.

Not only are Ensure drinks safe to enjoy during your lactation journey5, but Ensure’s parent company, Abbot Nutrition, makes a product specifically for pregnant and lactation women: Similac Mom.

If you want a product that will help you get the nutrition you need to produce breastmilk for your little one, you may want to check out the benefits of Similac Mom6.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.

Picture of Ensure drinks belong to Ensure Brand. Source: Source of other pictures: and


About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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